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 Economic Development News 
Tuesday, July 02 2019

Little Rock, AR -- The Metro Little Rock Alliance (MLRA) has launched a new brand and website to market the 12-county region to corporate executives, site selection consultants and potential new residents as a prime location to do business and live in Central Arkansas. positions Metro Little Rock as an epicenter of low costs, connected infrastructure and skilled talent, where companies large and small can find “Way More in Central Arkansas.” L’Oreal USA, Tyson Foods, Caterpillar, Dillard’s, Acxiom and Dassault Falcon Jet are among the global brands with major operations in the region. The website aims to promote the success that is possible in Metro Little Rock, as well as to serve as a resource for business investment decisions and talent attraction.

Posted by: AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, January 14 2019

Fort Smith, AR — Crafton Tull is a civil engineering, surveying, architecture, landscape architecture, and planning firm with more than 200 employees working out of seven offices across Arkansas and Oklahoma—until now. The firm announces the early 2019 opening of their eighth office in Chaffee Crossing at One McClure Place, 8101 McClure Drive, Fort Smith, Ark.
One McClure Place developer ERC courted Crafton Tull for the available space because ERC and many other organizations, including Fort Chaffee Redevelopment authority and city of Fort Smith, work with the firm regularly. ERC chairman Rod Coleman says, “It is time for a major firm like Crafton Tull to have a presence in Arkansas’ second largest city. Their work is influencing new development, city planning, and landscape architecture all across the region. We both agree that Fort Smith is the next logical place for them to be established.”

Posted by: AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 10 2018

Texarkana, USA — Governors from both sides of the state line will converge in downtown Texarkana on Tuesday, September 4, 2018, at 3 p.m. to announce the creation of the AR-TX Regional Economic Development Incorporation (AR-TX REDI)—an organization formed to serve as a catalyst for regional growth and a strengthened economy for southwest Arkansas and northeast Texas. The public is invited to attend the announcement ceremony held on the steps of the United States Post Office and Courthouse.

The historical joint appearance by Governor Greg Abbott (TX) and Governor Asa Hutchinson (AR) will headline the launch of AR-TX REDI, a new nonprofit organization that aims to create jobs and expand the regional economic base by attracting new businesses and industries. AR-TX REDI was created to promote the value of the area’s unique resources along the regional interstate corridors in Bowie (TX) and Miller (AR) Counties. Currently, the area has 106 miles of interstate frontage along the corridors of I-30, I-49, and future I-69 (currently called I-369).

Posted by: AT 11:04 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, September 06 2018

Little Rock, AR — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a leader in the development and manufacture of aerospace and defense products, announced plans to expand its Southern Arkansas facility near Camden, where the company manufactures solid rocket motors and warheads critical to national defense.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s currently envisioned expansion plans include investing in new infrastructure and creating more than 140 new jobs over the next three years. The growth would bring total employment to approximately 900 employees at the facility. Working in partnership with Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), Calhoun and Ouachita Counties, more than $50 million dollars will be invested in the expansion.

Posted by: AT 10:34 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 27 2018

Little Rock, AR — Energy Security Partners (ESP), an independent developer of major gas-to-liquids (GTL) projects, has secured funding to complete Front End Engineering & Design (FEED) and related development activities for the GTL Americas (GTLA) Project near Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The GTL facility is expected to produce 33,000 barrels per day of ultra-clean transportation fuels from natural gas, with an anticipated capital cost of approximately $3.5 billion. Major GTL facilities are in operation or construction in the Middle East, Asia and Africa but the GTLA Project will be the first of its scale in the U.S.

“Obtaining FEED financing is a significant milestone in our drive to secure full funding for the construction of the Phase 1 GTL facility in Jefferson County,” said Roger Williams, chief executive officer of ESP. “The GTL process converts natural gas into ultra-clean diesel fuel and naphtha, and it produces electricity from thermal energy released during the process. GTL products can also be processed and upgraded into ultra-clean jet fuel and gasoline, which ESP hopes to do in future expansion phases.”

Posted by: AT 11:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 16 2018
Aerojet Rocketdyne expands Solid Rocket Motor Center of Excellence at Arkansas facility

Photo Caption: An Aerojet Rocketdyne Camden employee prepares a solid rocket motor for shipment.

Camden, AR -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a leader in the development and manufacture of aerospace and defense products, announced plans to expand its Southern Arkansas facility near Camden, where the company manufactures solid rocket motors and warheads critical to national defense.

Aerojet Rocketdyne’s currently envisioned expansion plans include investing in new infrastructure and creating more than 140 new jobs over the next three years. The growth would bring total employment to approximately 900 employees at the facility. Working in partnership with Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), Calhoun and Ouachita Counties, more than $50 million dollars will be invested in the expansion.

Posted by: AT 09:32 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 29 2018

$1.2 billion investment will double capacity of technology-based steel mill and recycling facility
Osceola, AR — Big River Steel announced that it is expanding its LEED-certified, Arkansas-based scrap recycling and steel production facility. The expansion will double Big River Steel’s hot-rolled steel production capacity to 3.3 million tons annually. In addition, the expansion will facilitate the company’s ability to produce even higher grades of electrical steel, demand for which is expected to increase with continued focus on energy efficiency and the increase in hybrid and electric vehicle sales. 
“Our $1.2 billion expansion will further cement Big River Steel’s position as a global leader in terms of advanced manufacturing and environmental stewardship,” said Dave Stickler, Big River Steel’s chief executive officer. “Announcing this investment less than 18 months after beginning operations is a testament to the hard work and great success of the men and women on our team.”

Posted by: AT 11:02 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 21 2018

Newly Merged Company Creates 85 New Jobs, $1.6 Million Investment

Fort Smith, AR -- As a result of a recent merger, Midwest Automation Custom Fabrication Inc. announced it has chosen Fort Smith as its new manufacturing headquarters location. The new entity was conceived after a merger between Custom Fabrication and Engineering, a steel manufacturer in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Midwest Automation in Arkoma, Oklahoma. The new company, Midwest Automation Custom Fabrication, Inc., is creating 85 new jobs and investing more than $1.6 million in the Fort Smith region. Combined the two companies will employ approximately 120 employees with a total annual payroll of nearly $5 million.

“To be able to bring this new company to Fort Smith is extremely exciting for us,” said Darrell Robinson, partner with Midwest Automation Custom Fabrication. “Working closely with the Fort Smith Regional Chamber and Arkansas Economic Development Commission tipped the scales in favor of Fort Smith.”

Posted by: AT 01:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 03 2018

Little Rock, AR — Bank of the Ozarks will construct its fourth operations building in downtown Ozark and create as many as 133 new jobs over the next five years. Plans for the new building and local jobs were announced April 19.

George Gleason, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the Ozarks, said the new operations building will add 36,761 square feet of office space and additional parking to the bank’s campus at the intersection of West College Street and North 7th Street. It will join three existing buildings that house Bank of the Ozarks’ operations centers and backup data facility.

Posted by: AT 10:27 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, February 05 2018

Fort Smith, AR — Silgan Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: SLGN), a leading supplier of rigid packaging for consumer goods products, announced to its shareholders Wednesday they have initiated construction of a new manufacturing facility in Fort Smith.

“Silgan is excited about our expansion in Fort Smith. The warm welcome from both state and local authorities make us confident we have chosen the right location to serve our customers. We look forward to extending the Silgan family in the Fort Smith community,” said Robert Lewis, Silgan executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Silgan generates annual net sales, on a pro forma basis to include the Dispensing Systems operations which was acquired on April 6, 2017, of approximately $4.2 billion in 2016. Silgan operates 100 manufacturing facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Posted by: AT 08:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, December 29 2017

Company to invest $1.4 million, create 45 new jobs

Little Rock, AR -- Cooks BBQ Products, a provider of eco-friendly premium natural coconut, hardwood, lump charcoals, flavored smoking chips, wood chunks, and pellets, announced it is opening a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pindall, Arkansas (Searcy County), under the name Ozark Mountain Wood Products LLC. The company will invest approximately $1.4 million in the facility and create 45 new jobs.

“We’re excited for the opportunity to expand into Arkansas,” said Shawn Elbaz, CEO of Cooks BBQ Products. “Arkansas is the ideal location for us thanks to its central location and abundant natural resources that go into our products.”

Posted by: AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, November 28 2017

Company to invest $31.3 million, create 124 new jobs
Fayetteville, AR — OurPharma, a start-up manufacturer of generic medications, announced it is locating a facility in Fayetteville to develop lower cost alternatives to generic drugs. The company plans to invest approximately $31.1 million in the Fayetteville facility where they will initially hire 10 to 12 new employees and expand to more than 100 employees within a seven-year period. Construction will begin this winter on the 14.9-acre site in the Fayetteville Commercial Park.

“We want to fill a great need for generic drugs locally, in the region, and nationally by starting with compounding, and then progressing into the manufacturing of generic pills, tablets and capsules,” said Dr. Peter Kohler, CEO of OurPharma. “Our goals are to be a major generic drug company over the next decade and to provide affordable and much needed medications to the patients.”

Posted by: AT 08:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 19 2017

Company will build an initial 247,000-square-foot headquarters building on new campus
Little Rock, AR — George Gleason, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Bank of the Ozarks, joined Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola in the Governor’s Conference Room at the State Capitol to formally announce the bank’s plans to build a new 247,000-square-foot corporate headquarters building in Little Rock. The bank has acquired a 44-acre site at The Ranch located on Highway 10 in west Little Rock for initial development and future expansion, as needed over time, for its corporate headquarters campus to support the bank’s continued growth. Bank of the Ozarks expects to break ground for the initial building before year-end 2017.  Approximately 500 employees are expected to move into the building when construction is completed in late 2019 or early 2020, with capacity to accommodate 800 to 900 employees.

Posted by: AT 02:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, September 01 2017

Searcy, Arkansas — American Marksman Arkansas LLC, a distributor of ammunition of varying calibers, announced it is expanding in the Searcy region creating up to 100 new advanced manufacturing positions, coupled with significant growth in the coming years.
“We at American Marksman are proud and honored to be part of our nation’s military support structure and bring our operations to Searcy,” said American Marksman CEO, Thomas A. K. Schmidt. “We would like to thank Governor Asa Hutchinson, his staff, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Searcy Regional Economic Development Corporation (SREDC), Searcy Regional Chamber of Commerce (SRCC) and the City of Searcy for all their hard work and support of this project.  We look forward to working with the Great State of Arkansas and continuing to grow our business operations within the state.”

Posted by: AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 29 2017

Company to create 65 new jobs, invest USD 4 million in facility
Dumas, AR — SAF-HOLLAND, a leading global manufacturer of trailer suspension and axle systems, truck suspensions, fifth wheels, landing gear, and coupling products, is pleased to announce it is expanding its operations in Dumas (Desha County), Arkansas. As part of the expansion, the company will open a new facility in the old Federal-Mogul building to accommodate increased business with current customers.

“Our investment in Dumas will enable SAF-HOLLAND to expand the North American business as we prepare for increasing market demand also in the mid-term,” said Bjoern Meyer – VP Operations, Americas. “It allows SAF-HOLLAND closer proximity to our OEM customers and enhances our level of service to our distributors and fleet customers. Ultimately, the location provides a means to expand our distribution network to not only support existing customers but result in additional customers.”

Posted by: AT 11:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 28 2017

The nearly 29,000-square-foot office will serve as Ensono’s new Conway base as it continues its growth in Arkansas
Conway, Arkansas — Ensono™, a leading hybrid IT services provider, recently opened the doors to its new office space in Conway, Ark. The company will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion at its new location, 1000 SWN Drive, on August 29.
“Ensono has played an integral part in the betterment of Conway for more than 45 years, and their work is pivotal for our state’s initiatives toward technology skills and education,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “I am honored to participate in the grand opening, and I look forward to Ensono’s continued success in our community and beyond.”

Posted by: AT 08:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 04 2017

The company has invested an estimated $30 million in the project

Siloam Springs, AR -- Simmons Feed Ingredients, an affiliate of Simmons Foods Inc., held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its 72,000-square-foot ingredient facility in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Since 2015, the company has invested an estimated $30 million in the facility where it will produce fresh and frozen meat ingredients for pet food manufacturers. The company expects the new facility’s operations will create 78 new jobs.

“This wet ingredient facility is a model for the future of high-quality ingredient production for pet food manufacturers,” said Todd Simmons, CEO at Simmons Foods. “This new facility enables our team here to safely and reliably produce the highest quality, customizable ingredients for Simmons Feed Ingredients’ customers.” Simmons Foods Inc. and Affiliates are producers of poultry, pet food and ingredient products. They are one of the state’s largest private companies and employs over 1,000 people in its Siloam Springs operations.  

Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, joined the Simmons leadership and local officials at the event. “Simmons Foods has a long history of investing in Arkansas,” said Preston. “Through the establishment of this new facility, the company is making another significant commitment to doing business in the state. Arkansas has a large presence in food processing and this expansion is a testament to our strength in this sector.”

City of Siloam Springs City Administrator Phillip Patterson also spoke at the event saying, “Siloam Springs is a thriving City that continues to meet the demands of a new world. With this new facility we celebrate new jobs, new opportunity and new growth for this community. We are proud to have Simmons Foods headquartered here in Siloam Springs.”

Founded in 1949, Simmons Foods has been known for its business foresight, innovation, and loyalty to its customers and community. Some customer relationships go back almost 50 years. In the late 1990s, the company began to concentrate on business-to-business customers.

“For over 65 years Simmons Foods has been a valued member of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce,” said Wayne Mays, President and CEO of the Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce. “Today, we continue to work closely on many job-creating projects and appreciate their efforts and commitment to our community.”

Those interested in employment opportunities at Simmons can visit

About Simmons Feed Ingredients
Simmons Feed Ingredients, an affiliate of Simmons Foods, is focused on producing high quality animal nutrition for pet food, aquaculture and livestock. Through an integrated model that allows for maximum quality control, the company uses patented and proprietary processes to deliver top quality ingredients to our customers.

Simmons currently operates a feed ingredient facility in Southwest City, Missouri, along with an ingredient production facility in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. For more information on Simmons Feed Ingredients, visit

About Simmons Foods and Affiliates
Simmons is a vertically integrated, leading supplier of poultry, pet food and feed ingredient solutions based in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Founded in 1949, the company and its affiliates remain a privately owned and family led business.

Simmons Foods works with farmers, communities, and employees to apply more than 60 years of experience to serving customers. With more than 5,800 employees across more than 30 facilities, Simmons is committed to providing innovative food products and services to the world. For more information on Simmons Foods, visit


Simmons Wet Ingredient Facility is a model for the future of high-quality pet food ingredient production. The facility features unprecedented sourcing traceability, proprietary processes and innovative food safety systems to produce the highest quality, customizable ingredients for Simmons Feed Ingredients’ customers’ products. The company entered the feed ingredients market in the 1950’s.

July 31, 2017
Simmons Wet Ingredient Facility 1113 East Ashley Street
Siloam Springs, Arkansas 72761


  • Opening Prayer: Chaplain Nick Braschler
  • Phillip Patterson, City Administrator, Siloam Springs
  • Todd Simmons, CEO, Simmons Foods
  • Governor Asa Hutchinson, State of Arkansas
  • Don Austin, Chairman, Siloam Springs Chamber of Commerce, Executive Committee

By the numbers:

  • $50 million: Estimated economic impact to the state of Arkansas
  • 72,000: Estimated square footage
  • $30 million: Estimated Simmons investment in the plant
  • 78: Estimated full time jobs created
  • 1,000+: Approximate total of Simmons team members in Siloam Springs
  • 1949: Year Simmons Foods began

Design and construction:

  • December 2015 groundbreaking
  • Project partner: CRB Consulting (
  • Other partners: Shepard Construction, Central Electric, Southwest Vault, The Brandt Companies, Wiese Doors and Peachey Landscape Company.

Financing and Incentives:

  • Supported by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC)
  • Arkansas Advantage (Income Tax Credit): Supports job creation based on the payroll of new, full-time, permanent employees hired
  • Tax Back: Provides sales and use tax refunds on the purchase of building materials and taxable machinery and equipment to qualified businesses
  • $1 million grant supporting wastewater pretreatment operations at the facility


  • Meat ingredients for pet food (beef, chicken, pork, fish)
  • Custom blends and recipes for customers in ambient, refrigerated and frozen environments

Leadership Team:

  • John Whatley,​ Sr. Director of Operations, Simmons Wet Ingredient Facility
  • Jeff Webster, President and COO, Simmons Feed Ingredients
  • Dan Henson, Vice President of Operations, Simmons Feed Ingredients
  • Mike Buccheri, Vice President of Business Development, Simmons Feed Ingredients

For more information contact: Donny Epp, Communications Director, ​

Posted by: AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 03 2017

Canadian based custom metal manufacturer acquires existing operation

Conway, AR -- Canadian based manufacturer DBG announced plans to establish a US headquarters in Conway, Arkansas. The 41-year-old company supplies the heavy truck, automotive, agriculture and commercial industries as a tier one and tier two provider of custom metal products. The company will begin operations immediately.

“The acquisition of Navistar’s former IC Bus operations allows us to be part of a growing community, provides us with a strong experienced workforce, increases our technical capabilities and diversifies our product offering.” says President and CEO, Mike De Biasi “DBG has been looking for a location to establish our USA Operations for many years and today, we are excited that our research has led us to Conway, Arkansas.”

Posted by: AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, April 17 2017

Company to invest $5 million, create 70 new, full-time jobs

Danville, AR — Pet Won Pet Products announced it is locating a new facility in Danville, Arkansas (Yell County), to develop pet treats. The company will create 70 new jobs at the 28,887-square-foot facility, formerly home to Petit Jean Poultry. Pet Won Pet Products will invest $5 million in the building prior to the start of production, which is scheduled to start in June 2017.  

Pet Won Pet Products’ parent company is headquartered in Taian City, Shandong Province, China. Sun Paper, which announced plans in 2016 to build a $1 billion bio-products mill in Clark County, Arkansas, is also headquartered in Shandong Province.

Posted by: AT 11:48 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 17 2017
Governor Asa Hutchinson signs economic development acts into law

Targets startup and innovation sector throughout the state
Little Rock, AR — Governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law three acts on Wednesday, February 16, targeting growth in the state’s innovation and technology sector.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Division of Science and Technology will administer all three programs.

The Arkansas Business and Technology Accelerator Act will create a $2 million accelerator grant program for startup companies. Similar accelerator programs throughout the country have been found to significantly impact success rates of startup businesses.

Posted by: AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, December 14 2016
Big River Steel Commissions Melt Shop and Hot Mill

Zekelman Industries Buys First Hot Rolled Coil Alongside Charity Donation

Osceola, AR -- Big River Steel, the world’s first Flex Mill™, has begun operations in its melt shop and hot mill. These are the third and fourth areas of the mill to be commissioned following the batch anneal facility and temper mill earlier this year. The first hot rolled coil produced was purchased by Zekelman Industries and will be sent to Atlas Tube, one of the company’s structural tube mills in Blytheville, Arkansas, just miles from Big River’s site.  Zekelman Industries purchased the coil for $100,000 with the entire amount jointly contributed by Big River and Zekelman Industries to Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and Arkansas Northeastern College (ANC).

Under construction since July 2014, Big River is commissioning some of the world’s newest steelmaking technology and will recycle approximately 2 million tons of scrap metal and other metallics to produce 1.6 million tons of finished steel products annually. The company’s Flex Mill™ is the first in North America to connect an electric arc furnace (EAF) to a Ruhrstahl Heraeus degasser and will be the only EAF mill in the United States to produce hot rolled steel as thick as 1” and as wide as 78”.

Posted by: AT 03:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 31 2016
Brownwood Life Care Opens $6 Million Facility at Chaffee Crossing

Fort Smith, AR -- Brownwood Life Care Center of Fort Smith opened a new $6 million Intermediate Care Facility at Chaffee Crossing on Friday, October 28, 2016. The 42,000 square-foot building is located at 7500 Wells Lake Road, Fort Smith, Ark. It will accommodate 50 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
In addition to providing residential and around-the-clock health services for the past 30 years, Brownwood provides habilitation therapy and educational services through contracted therapy specialists and special education teachers. Unique features of the building were designed to accommodate residents and instructors such as larger classrooms, larger resident rooms, and access to outdoor recreation areas. Compared to the existing 60-year old Brownwood facility on South U Street in Fort Smith, the expanded client rooms and classrooms exceed state standards for special education and represent a big improvement for teachers and students.

Posted by: AT 10:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2016

Bejing, China -- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the signing of an MOU with Suzhou Tianyuan Garments Company, wrapping up another successful trade mission overseas. As part of the deal, Tianyuan will create 400 jobs and invest $20 million in Little Rock.

Tianyuan is a garment manufacturer specializing in the production of casual and sportswear, including garments for Adidas, Reebok, and Armani. The company's annual production is approximately 10 million articles of clothing and currently supplies 90% of garments under the Adidas brand.

Posted by: AT 12:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, September 29 2016

Little Rock, AR -- Envoy Air Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, announced that it will establish a new Aircraft Maintenance facility at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, Ark., investing more than $2 million and bringing 60 new jobs to the area over the next five years. The new facility will provide maintenance support for the carrier’s growing fleet of 76-seat Embraer 175 (E175) aircraft.

Envoy’s Vice President of Maintenance, Jay Murray, was joined at the airport by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-Ark.), Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and numerous city officials and business leaders for the announcement.

Posted by: AT 10:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 19 2016

Company to invest $12 million, add 400 new full-time employees over four years
Batesville, AR -- Intimidator Inc., a manufacturer of 4x4 utility vehicles and zero turn mowers, announced they are expanding their current manufacturing facility in Batesville and building a second facility in the Independence County Industrial Park. The company will invest $12 million in facilities and equipment while adding 400 new full-time employees over four years.

“We are indeed grateful for support from the Governor’s Office, the State of Arkansas, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Independence County Economic Development Commission, City of Batesville, and this entire community,” said Intimidator owners Becky and Robert Foster in a statement. “These groups have given us overwhelming support, and last but certainly not least, we want to thank our entire team of employees that make it happen day in and day out.” 

Posted by: AT 10:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, August 31 2016

“In addition to talent needed to support  Elyxor’s  rapid growth, Central Arkansas also provides access to entrepreneurial entities such as the Arkansas Venture Center and the Innovation Hub. We appreciate the company’s significant investment in the citizens of our great state.” - Governor Asa Hutchinson. 

Elyxor Inc., a team of software engineering specialists, announced they are expanding their presence in North Little Rock. The company plans to hire 45 new employees in an effort to support clients across the world. Elyxor recently moved into new office space in North Little Rock’s Argenta District. The addition of 45 new employees will take total employment at the North Little Rock office from four people to 49 people.

Mark Carleo, Managing Partner, stated, “As Elyxor has grown as a firm, we have been seeking a location where we can build a strong relationship with the local business community and find great talent.  We hired our first engineer in Little Rock in 2014, and we have been growing ever since.”

Posted by: AT 11:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, August 19 2016

Company to initially invest approximately $3.5 million and create up to 60 new jobs

Paragould, AR -- Corbitt Manufacturing, a component manufacturing operation within American Railcar Industries, Inc. (ARI), announced the company is starting up a new manufacturing facility in Paragould, Arkansas. Governor Asa Hutchinson joined local and company leaders at the announcement in Paragould. As part of this new location, the company plans to invest approximately $3.5 million and create up to 60 new jobs. Production at the new facility is anticipated to start in August 2016.

Jeff Hollister, president and CEO of ARI, commented, “The proximity of the new facility to our railcar manufacturing plants and the work ethic of people in Northeast Arkansas were two of the factors in choosing to start up a new facility in Paragould. We are excited with the possibilities the Corbitt operations will likely bring to the city of Paragould as we expand our strong workforce and continue to support the success of our business. The capital invested in this new facility will help us to meet current and anticipated demand for key components that go on the railcars that ARI produces, at both our Paragould and Marmaduke, Arkansas railcar assembly plants.  I would also like to thank the City of Paragould, the Chamber and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission for their continued help and support through the years.”

Posted by: AT 02:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, August 17 2016

Fort Smith, AR -- A provider of business office support functions for hospitals and healthcare facilities, will expand their presence in Fort Smith’s Phoenix Center. As part of the expansion, the company is increasing personnel to accommodate increased growth.

“The economic impact of these new jobs at Shared Services Center will reach beyond Fort Smith to benefit our state’s economy,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “From 45 new jobs at a software engineering company in North Little Rock to these new jobs that will benefit many families in Fort Smith, it’s been a great few days for job creation in Arkansas. Thanks to Shared Services Center for continuing to make significant investments in our great state.”

Posted by: AT 01:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 18 2016

Cornelius Schnitzler to promote Arkansas to European-based companies

Berlin, Germany -- Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson today officially opened Arkansas’ new European office in Berlin, Germany. The opening of the Arkansas office was celebrated with a reception at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson. Cornelius Schnitzler, a German national with a background in economics and trade, will run the new Arkansas office and work closely with Lenka Horakova, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Director of Business Development for Europe.

This is Arkansas’ third international office. The state has maintained offices in Japan and China for several years.

Schnitzler was chosen because of his established business relationships in Europe. He is fluent in German, English and French. Germany is the largest foreign direct investor in Arkansas with more than 30 German subsidiaries located in the state.

Posted by: AT 10:05 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 30 2016
Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority Receives Association of Defense Communities Award for Base Redevelopment Excellence

Photo Caption: Ivy Owen, fourth from the left, accepted the Base Redevelopment Award of Excellence on behalf of Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority at the Association of Defense Communities Summit Conference in Washington, DC, on June 21, 2016.

Award Presented at Special Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Fort Chaffee, AR -- The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority has been honored with the 2016 John Lynch Base Development Excellence Award from the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) for spearheading the reuse of the former Fort Chaffee as Chaffee Crossing, a diverse blend of uses that have made it the premier economic development in Arkansas.

Ivy Owen, Executive Director of Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, accepted the award June 21 at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., during the 2016 Defense Communities National Summit hosted by ADC. The ceremony featured keynote remarks by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Posted by: AT 11:39 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 18 2016

Project expected to provide more than $5 million in economic impact to Harrison economy

Harrison, AR -- North Arkansas College and Entegrity Energy Partners of Little Rock agreed to a $1.7 million energy performance contract through the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) Program which will implement efficient LED lighting technology, replace and improve HVAC equipment, and replace critical roofing infrastructure damaged in a recent storm. The project is expected to provide more than $5 million in economic impact to the Harrison economy while generating significant energy savings.

The energy performance contract will have a 15-year payback and is fully funded by guaranteed energy savings. North Arkansas College will be able to finance the project through annual savings currently being spent on utility costs.

Posted by: AT 04:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, May 05 2016

AEDC to award contracts in three specialized areas

Little Rock, AR -- The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s (AEDC) Marketing and Communications Division announced that it has issued three bids, or Requests for Qualification (RFQs) to support its marketing and public relations efforts.

This is the first time that three separate contracts will be awarded. Interested vendors may seek to qualify for one, two, or all three professional services contracts, including:

  • AED-16-0015 – Branding and Multi-Channel Marketing
  • AED-16-0016 – Digital Marketing
  • AED-16-0017 – Public Relations
Posted by: AT 09:14 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2016

Newington, NH -- SIG SAUER, Inc. announced it has finalized plans to relocate its ammunition manufacturing operation from Eubank, Kentucky to a permanent site in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Documents were finalized with the state of Arkansas the last week of April following a preliminary announcement by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson at the 2016 Las Vegas SHOT Show. 
SIG SAUER will relocate its Elite Performance Ammunition manufacturing operation to an existing, and soon-to-be renovated, building in Jacksonville and anticipates employing 50 people in the initial relocation phase, with additional jobs planned for the future. The new site provides significant room for expansion, a key factor in the company’s decision to relocate to Jacksonville.

Posted by: AT 10:43 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, May 02 2016

Company to create approximately 100 new jobs by end of 2016

Little Rock, AR -- Sprint (NYSE: S), Governor Asa Hutchinson, Mayor Mark Stodola, and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce announced the wireless carrier recently opened a regional office in Little Rock, Arkansas, to serve as the South Central headquarters which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. As part of the expansion, Sprint plans to add approximately 100 new, full-time employees in Little Rock by the end of 2016. 

Sprint currently has more than 230 company and dealer-owned stores across Arkansas, with 34 in Little Rock. Over the last three years, Sprint has spent more than $62 million on network enhancements in the state, which included voice and LTE optimization

Posted by: AT 11:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 28 2016

Company will create more than 28 new jobs

Paragould, AR -- GW Communications, a company providing broadband solutions to telecommunications, cable and other industries, announced plans to locate a new office in Paragould, Arkansas. More than 28 new jobs will be created by GW Communications at the new Paragould office. The company will be located in an existing facility at 1707 Linwood Drive in Paragould.

GW Communications’ leadership joined Paragould City and Chamber officials along with Mike Preston, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, at the announcement in Paragould.

Posted by: AT 11:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, April 26 2016

Company to invest $1 billion, create 250 new jobs

Little Rock, AR -- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that Sun Paper will open a bio-refinery in Clark County. Hongxin Li, chairman and founder of Sun Paper, joined Governor Hutchinson for the announcement in the Governor’s Conference Room at the Arkansas State Capitol. Sun Paper will invest more than $1 billion in the bio-products mill and create 250 new jobs.

This will be the company’s first facility in North America.

During Governor Asa Hutchinson’s trade mission to Asia in November, Governor Hutchinson and Chairman Li signed a letter of intent of investment cooperation in which Sun Paper committed to studying the feasibility of building the facility in South Arkansas.

Posted by: AT 12:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 29 2016

Fort Smith, AR -- Veterinarians Trevor South and Rachel South broke ground for the new River Valley Animal Hospital and Emergency Services on Monday, March 28 at 10:00 a.m. The new animal hospital and 24-hour clinic will be located at 400 Frontier Road, Barling, Ark.  
Drs. South and South will operate their day practice for both small and large animals. Their practice will focus on compassionate, progressive care with emphasis on advanced diagnostics and technology. In addition to preventative wellness visits, vaccinations and urgent care, they will offer advanced technology such as digital x-ray and ultrasonic dental equipment, with plans for eventually obtaining other advanced diagnostic and therapeutic modalities. They plan to hire at least two more veterinarians before opening the after-hours emergency services clinic.

Posted by: AT 10:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 26 2016

First contract of its kind in Arkansas; project will improve various systems, pay for itself in 20 years 
Milwaukee -- Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, and Arkansas State University have signed a $15 million energy performance contract that will dramatically advance the university’s sustainability initiatives, including improvements to lighting, water conservation, waste management, energy management, HVAC and utility monitoring systems.
The energy performance contract, featuring a 20-year payback and operational savings, is the first of its kind in Arkansas.  Recent energy legislation has enhanced the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting program.  Energy performance contracting is a financing mechanism used to pay for energy efficiency improvements, which are then paid back through annual energy and operational savings.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Johnson Controls to make significant upgrades to our energy infrastructure,” said Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System.  “Those upgrades will benefit everyone in the Arkansas State community – students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and visitors to our campus.”

Posted by: AT 11:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 22 2016

Company to create approximately 50 new jobs

Jacksonville, AR -- Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced SIG SAUER, a manufacturer of premium ammunition, is finalizing plans to locate a new ammunition manufacturing facility in an existing building in Jacksonville, Arkansas, where it anticipates creating about 50 new jobs.

The company’s plans were announced in Las Vegas at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show).

SIG SAUER was one of the six prospective companies Governor Hutchinson called on his first day in office. Hutchinson is the first Arkansas governor to attend the SHOT Show.

Posted by: AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, December 15 2015

Fort Smith, AR -- Mercy Clinic-Fort Smith announced a collaboration with the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) to construct a new $7.9 million, 13,500 square foot medical clinic on ACHE property, across the street from the proposed Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Chaffee Crossing, Barling, Ark. Architectural plans of the clinic include 28 exam rooms, x-ray, triage, laboratory and conference space to accommodate recently approved residency program training requirements. Preliminary employment numbers include eight physicians, three APNs and approximately 30 support staff. Mercy Clinic and ACHE have set aside ample property for expansion of additional Mercy facilities.

“Mercy Clinic couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this collaboration with the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education and the proposed Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Our foundress, Catherine McAuley, understood the importance of educating a new generation of men and women to care for those in need. She educated, trained and equipped her caregivers with the skills they needed to continue her mission. Today, that mission continues. Our newest clinic will not only care for the acute needs of patients in our community today, it will also be a teaching ground for a generation of students that will be the face of tomorrow’s health care. Mercy is honored to help prepare those who will someday care for our neighbors, parents, children and friends,” stated Cole Goodman, President of Mercy Clinic.

Posted by: AT 10:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, December 14 2015

Company to add approximately 160 new jobs, invest $7.8 million

Batesville, AR -- Bad Boy Mowers today announced the company is expanding its operations in Batesville, investing approximately $7.8 million in a 68,000 square-foot property and 10 acres across from its existing almost 1 million square-foot, 29 acre facility, and adding approximately 160 new jobs in the future, which will bring its total employment to approximately 750.

The expansion is a result of an increase in demand for Bad Boy’s zero turn mower product line, as well as its sister company’s (Bad Boy Cutters) rotary cutter product line, as well as Bad Boy’s new accessory division, which will manufacture a variety of state of the art vehicle accessories.

Bad Boy Mowers began production in Batesville in 2002 in a 20,000 square-foot facility with 25 employees, and has experienced tremendous growth during its 13 years, and particularly in recent years, having averaged over 33% growth in each of the past two years.

Posted by: AT 04:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, December 01 2015
Jeff Moore named AEDC's Director of Marketing and Communications

Moore brings over 24 years of experience in advertising and corporate marketing
Little Rock, AR -- The Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) announced that Jeff Moore has been hired as the agency’s new Director of Marketing and Communications. AEDC’s Marketing and Communications Division oversees all marketing initiatives for AEDC, including the agency’s advertising contract. This division also responds to media inquiries and coordinates all public relations outreach for the agency, including job-creation announcements.
“Jeff will be a great asset for AEDC and the State of Arkansas,” said AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston. “Marketing is one of our top priorities as we reach out to companies and site-selection consultants around the world. In order to compete globally, we must share the Arkansas story – and we have a great story to tell.”

Posted by: AT 09:54 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 16 2015

Company to invest $2.4 million, create 79 new jobs
Melbourne, AR -- Micro Plastics, the largest manufacturer of threaded nylon fasteners in the world announced the company will locate a facility in Melbourne, Arkansas. Through the expansion, the company will invest $2.4 million and create 79 new jobs over five years in Melbourne. Production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

“This year is the 40th anniversary of our move to Arkansas,” said Tom Hill, President of Micro Plastics, Inc.  “In that time we’ve grown from 15 employees to nearly 400 at our plant in Flippin.  We are plotting our future for continued success and growth and we are looking forward to the Melbourne plant and community being a major part of that."

Posted by: AT 09:24 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 05 2015
First Family Practice Clinic to Break Ground at Chaffee Crossing

Fort Smith, AR -- Developers of a new Chaffee Crossing Clinic will break ground on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. for the first healthcare facility in Chaffee Crossing. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 17200 Roberts Blvd., Fort Smith, Arkansas, east of the newly finished section of future I-49.

Dr. Justin Hayes of Fort Smith will be establishing the practice which will offer a full range of primary care services including on-site laboratory, X-ray, and ultrasound. Dr. Hayes plans to utilize a patient-centered medical home model as adapted by the American Academy of Family Physicians to include flexible scheduling and walk-in availability for established patients. The clinic will be staffed by two board certified family physicians and a nurse practitioner.  

Posted by: AT 02:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 22 2015

Governor’s Military Affairs Committee includes public, private community leaders

Little Rock, AR -- Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the formation of a new statewide initiative to support and promote the state’s military installations and related economic development interests.

The Governor’s Military Affairs Committee will bring together public and private leaders around the state who will prepare and advocate for Arkansas on both a national and state level to accomplish short- and long-term economic objectives for our military installations. The Governor has committed an up-front amount of $400,000 in funding for the purpose of establishing the statewide organization and commissioning an economic impact analysis.

Posted by: AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, August 06 2015

Leading App Development Company Offers a Unique Work Culture Bringing Innovative Technology Jobs to Arkansas
Conway, AR -- Metova, Inc., an emerging technology company creating world-class apps along with strategy, design, development and marketing for companies including Yelp, Dropbox, eHarmony, Flixster and Microsoft, announced today 100 new job opportunities in downtown Conway, Arkansas. The company is expanding to meet the demands of the rapidly growing mobile, web and IoT (Internet of Things) space, and due to significant new business in the digital media industry.
Metova opened their offices in January of 2015 in a grand opening ceremony with an announcement by Governor Asa Hutchinson as well as Conway Mayor, Tab Townsell.
Metova initially projected the creation of over 60 jobs, but due to growth and innovation creating new opportunities in the marketplace, Metova is now hiring an additional 100 positions – nearly tripling the initial projection. Metova is seeking developers with strengths in Ruby on Rails, Java web and mobile app development, as well as talented UX and UI designers.

Posted by: AT 11:29 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 30 2015

Company will add up to 75 employees and invest $10.5 million
Marmaduke, AR -- American Railcar Industries, Inc. (ARI or the Company), a leading North American designer and manufacturer of hopper and tank railcars,  provided further details regarding its project to enhance its  tank railcar manufacturing facility in Marmaduke, Arkansas (Greene County). As part of the expansion, the Company will invest $10.5 million in buildings and equipment and expects to hire up to 75 new full-time employees.

The expansion will allow ARI to retrofit tank railcars to meet stricter safety standards imposed by the final regulations related to tank railcars in flammable service released by the United States and Canada earlier this year.

Jeff Hollister, President and CEO of ARI, commented, “Our strong team of employees at our Marmaduke facility, as well as all of our facilities, continue to support the success of our business. The capital invested in our Marmaduke facility will serve to further diversify our business to meet current and anticipated demand for retrofits, tank certifications and railcar maintenance, while also providing additional flexibility for our new tank railcar production.”

Posted by: AT 09:51 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 01 2015

Company to invest $18 million, create 100 new jobs
Newport, AR -- Southwest Steel Processing, a manufacturer of railcar and oil and gas components, announced it is expanding its facility in Newport, Arkansas. The company plans to invest $18 million in the facility and add 100 jobs over the next two years. The addition of 100 jobs will bring total employment at the Newport facility to 220.  The expansion will allow Southwest Steel Processing to develop a new forging line.

Governor Asa Hutchinson joined local and company leaders at the announcement in Newport.

“This type of expansion is not possible without a strong, talented workforce already in place,” said Gov. Hutchinson. “Thanks to the existing employees of Southwest Steel Processing for their significant role in making this project a reality. We appreciate the company’s decision to continue growing in Arkansas.”

Posted by: AT 11:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, April 23 2015

The approximate 200,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in late 2016; ABF FreightSM and ArcBest Technologies employees will remain at current Old Greenwood Road location

Fort Smith, AR -- ArcBest CorporationSM [Nasdaq: ARCB] on Tuesday announced it will break ground for construction on its new corporate headquarters at a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. April 15 at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith. Gov. Asa Hutchinson also is scheduled to attend the ceremony.

In May 2014, ArcBest, a transportation and logistics company, announced the purchase of 40 acres off McClure Drive in east Fort Smith for the corporation’s new headquarters. The approximate 200,000-square-foot building is expected to be completed in late 2016 and will help ease the company’s current tight quarters as it continues to experience significant growth.

Posted by: AT 11:16 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, March 18 2015

Company to invest $2.5 million, create 10 new jobs

Maumelle, AR -- Plastic Ingenuity today announced it is expanding its facility in Maumelle, Arkansas. The company plans to invest $2.5 million in the facility and add 10 jobs, bringing total employment to 60 once the expansion is complete.

The expansion will allow Plastic Ingenuity to increase production of their plastic food packaging lines.

“Plastic Ingenuity is thankful for the continued support from the State of Arkansas and the City of Maumelle,” said Jess Mellenthin, Plastic Ingenuity Plant Manager.  This expansion will allow the Maumelle facility to become a larger player in the rapidly growing food segment of plastic packaging.  The added space and new auxiliary equipment will increase our efficiency and bring more work to central Arkansas.”

Posted by: AT 10:03 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 18 2015

Fort Smith, AR -- Mars Petcare is planning an $81.7 million expansion of its facility at Chaffee Crossing that will add an estimated 95 good-paying jobs, according to information with a “Tax Back” resolution on the Tuesday (Feb. 17) agenda of the Fort Smith Board of Directors.

It’s the second significant expansion of the plant in the past two years. Mars Petcare – based in Brussels, Belgium, with a U.S. headquarters located south of Nashville, Tenn. – opened the Chaffee Crossing site in September 2009. In October 2013 the company announced a $50 million expansion that was expected to add 42 jobs.

Mars Petcare announced November 2007 it would build an $80 million pet food plant at Chaffee Crossing and employ 200 full-time workers when the plant was fully operational. At the time of the announcement, the city of Fort Smith estimated the plant would result in an annual payroll of $7.07 million, with the average annual salary around $35,300. Read Full Story....

Posted by: AT 08:35 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 23 2015

Company to invest $1.4 million, create 120 new jobs 
Clarksville, AR -- HanesBrands (NYSE:HBI) today announced it is expanding its manufacturing facility in Clarksville, Arkansas. The company plans to invest more than $1.4 million in building renovations and new equipment. As part of the expansion, the company plans to add 120 new jobs, bringing total employment at the facility to 570 people. More than 85 percent of the plant’s current employees have at least ten years of service with the company.

HanesBrands’ Clarksville facility primarily produces sheer hosiery along with some seamless bras. It is one of the largest hosiery knitting facilities in the world. 

Posted by: Expansion Solutions Magazine AT 10:26 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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